Wi-Lan Sues RIM, Motorola and UTStarcom

Wi-Lan, a Canadian technology licensing company, has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Research in Motion (RIM), Motorola and UTStarcom. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, and alleges that the companies’ mobile devices and other equipment infringe patents held by Wi-Lan. Specific damages or remedies were not included in the filing.

Like many lawsuits of this type, it is impossible to determine an outcome at the start of the suit. Patent infringement cases are often very technical and can take years to litigate. Even more time can incur when the losing side decides to appeal the decision. Lower court judges, like federal district judges, will press for the sides to come to a settlement.

Wi-Lan recently announced it has cash reserves of nearly $92 million to litigate patent suits and negotiate settlements. Some in the industry have accused Wi-Lan of being a patent troll. A troll is a company that doesn’t make anything but holds patents for the sole purpose of suing others in the industry.